Fanciulla – 1963, Onice di Montalcino, Bruno Innocenti

THE ARTIST

I began work as a goldsmith in my father’s workshop in Borgo San Jacopo, in the artisanal heart of Florence. I believe I owe much to this experience. Two things at least: first of all, love for my craft, and the wish to improve constantly in it, with humility. Secondly, love and respect for the materials, whether they be plaster, clay, bronze, marble or wood; the feeling that a material is alive, and sometimes hinders or even defeats me, but on many other occasions helps me, and in these cases it is deeply involved in my best achievements.

I cannot attempt to explain what leads me to make sculptures. Stimuli may come in the most diversified, often unthought-of ways, moments and places.
I believe I have a great love for the beings and objects of nature, and want to reproduce them in order to gaze at them; I feel that in this love there is a pagan component, and a religious one too. Maybe it is an unresolved conflict, and maybe I am trying, with sculpture, to overcome this ambiguity and this contradiction, perhaps without being explicitly aware of it.

Although in my career (by now, alas, quite a long one) I happened also to make some monumental statues, I prefer delicate, pensive atmospheres, little quiet things, the beauty of seemingly insignificant details. It may also look as if I were living in a sort of “limbo”, outside time, since I am a seventy-year-old man who is still capable of blushing.
Maybe the world outside this limbo intimidates me, yet I love it; I always look at it with a mixture of awe and envy. I would like to travel through it with more confidence. Perhaps this is precisely what I am trying to do when I’m working.

Bruno Innocenti